Bruce Springsteen has joined the ranks of the celebrity children's authors by turning his 2009 song Outlaw Pete into a new story book. The Boss has teamed up with writer and cartoonist Frank Caruso to transform the track into a kids book that will be released in November (14).
Caruso says, "When Bruce wrote Outlaw Pete he didn't just write a great song, he created a great character. The first time I heard the song this book played out in my head.
"Like Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Dorothy Gale and, for me, even Popeye, Outlaw Pete cuts deep into the folklore of our country and weaves its way into the fabric of great American literary characters."
The rocker adds, "Outlaw Pete is essentially the story of a man trying to outlive and outrun his sins."
Rapper Kendrick Lamar's hit album good kid, m.A.A.d city has inspired a college course at a Georgia university. Professor Adam Diehl, the instructor of the Good Kid, Mad Cities English Composition class at Georgia Regents University in Augusta, chose Lamar's debut album as the primary source material for the course, which will examine other works of literature that involve young people growing up in their respective cities, in order to help students become better writers and appreciate the language of hip-hop.
Compton, California native Lamar's award-winning record will be studied alongside authors James Joyce, James Baldwin, Gwendolyn Brooks, and filmmaker John Singleton's 1991 drama Boyz N The Hood.
Diehl tells HipHopDX.com that he specifically chose Lamar's good kid, m.A.A.d city, because he believes the rapper is "the James Joyce of hip-hop", adding, "The lasting historical influence of good kid, m.A.A.d city has yet to be determined, but the album surely has brought new listeners to the genre because of the curiosity surrounding its instant acclaim.
"The narrative complexity, the structure, the allusions, the subject matter, the characters, and most of all the message make good kid, m.A.A.d city worthy of university status."
good kid, m.A.A.d city was one of the most acclaimed albums of 2012 and was nominated for Album of the Year at the Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards and BET Hip Hop Awards. It also earned Lamar five Grammy nominations, including Album of The Year.
Joan Baez, Garth Brooks, Billy Joel, Stephen Sondheim and Stevie Wonder are to receive top honours at the upcoming American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Centennial Awards in New York. The accolade is handed out once a century to a select group of American music icons in recognition of their "incomparable accomplishments in their respective music genres and beyond".
The prizegiving will take place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on 17 November (14) at a gala celebrating ASCAP’s 100th anniversary.
ASCAP president Paul Williams says, "Each of our ASCAP Centennial Award recipients is in a class of his or her own, as the creator and performer of songs that have touched the lives of people across the globe. It’s wonderful to be able to salute them on the occasion of ASCAP’s Centennial year."
Welsh rocker Gruff Rhys has been shortlisted for a prestigious literature honour for his debut book. The Super Furry Animals frontman released his new solo album American Interior in May (14), inspired by the story of Welsh adventurer John Evans, who explored the U.S. in the 18th Century.
The special project came with an app and a book charting Rhys' reconstruction of Evans' journey, and now the novel has been announced as one of five works in line for the 2014 Gordon Burn Prize, which honours "authors whose novels enter history".
The winner of the award will be announced in October (14).
Authors Joshua Ferris and Karen Joy Fowler have made literary history by becoming two of the first four American writers ever to make it onto the Booker Prize list. The 2014 'longlist' was announced on Wednesday (23Jul14) - the first time Americans have been eligible for the coveted best fiction award in the 46-year-old history of the prize.
The literary honour has previously only been handed to citizens of Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth.
In announcing this year's list, members of the prize committee revealed 154 books had been entered for the 2014 Booker Prize.
The list, which includes fellow Americans Siri Hustvedt and Richard Powers, now stands at 13 and a shortlist of six books will be announced on 9 September (14). The winner will be named in mid-October (14).
The books on the long list are:
Joshua Ferris' To Rise Again at a Decent Hour
Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North
Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves
Siri Hustvedt's The Blazing World
Howard Jacobson's J
Paul Kingsnorth's The Wake
David Mitchell's The Bone Clocks
Neel Mukherjee's The Lives of Others
David Nicholls' Us
Joseph O'Neill's The Dog
Richard Powers' Orfeo
Ali Smith's How to be Both
Niall Williams' History of the Rain.
Singer Ne-Yo and songwriter/producer Jermaine Dupri will be handed special honours at a music industry prizegiving next month (Jun14). Dupri will follow in the footsteps of Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder when he receives the prestigious Founders Award at the 27th annual American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Rhythm & Soul Music Awards.
The prize is given to artists who have made "pioneering contributions to music by inspiring and influencing their fellow music creators".
Singer/songwriter Ne-Yo will be feted with the Golden Note accolade for reaching "extraordinary career milestones". Past recipients include Pharrell Williams and Alicia Keys.
The ceremony will be held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on 26 June (14).
Film and TV composer William Patrick Olvis has lost his battle with throat cancer at the age of 56. Olvis, who was the son of actor and opera singer William Edward Olvis, passed away on 6 May (14) in Malibu, California, according to Variety.com.
Throughout his career Olvis composed the music for several movies and TV shows, including Red Rock West, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman and El Diablo.
He also won four most performed underscore awards from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) in 1995, 1997, 1998 and 1999.
Kaley Cuoco has seemingly been everywhere recently. Since showing up last fall unexpectedly on The Voice while her sister auditioned, The Big Bang Theory's resident hot girl has been chatting up reporters, even landing on the cover of Cosmopolitan, dishing openly about everything from her wedding to professional tennis player Ryan Sweeting to her breast implants. Then there are her Instagram posts, which have featured Cuoco showing off the tattoo that she got in honor of her nuptials (the Roman numeral equivalent of the date), her new shorter haircut, and her stunning bikini-clad body.
It's not as though Cuoco has been averse to publicity before this. She's been in the public eye going back to when she was 17 and playing the late John Ritter's too-sexy daughter on 8 Simple Rules. She's also never been shy about showing some skin; beyond just the skimpy outfits her character Penny wears on Big Bang, the actress has done multiple cover shoots for Maxim. Something about this recent wave feels different, however.
With a guarantee of three more seasons of her sitcom in place, Cuoco appears to be making a play for a larger role in the public's mind and to keep from being known only as "Penny." In today's world, one way to compete with the Kardashian and Jenner sisters — not to mention Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga, etc. — is to put more of your personal life out for public consumption. In Cuoco's case, she's earned the right to take some chances and see if they pay off.
Over the course of her run on Big Bang, Cuoco has taken the character from being a one-note joke — the hot girl across the hall — and turned her into a three-dimensional person. She's infused her character with a funny mixture that's equal parts brashness and low self-esteem. Instead of just being the "normal" person reacting to the geniuses, we've gotten to see Penny deal with insecurities at being the non-college graduate amongst a group of Ph.Ds. Cuoco's comedic timing has improved nearly every season since the beginning of the show… with her at some point taking on somewhat of a Dean Martin persona, looking for a drink to help smooth out the rough edges.
What the actress hasn't been able to do so far, though, is make that translate into something more than being a star on TV's top rated sitcom. A lot of her recent publicity push has been in support of Authors Anonymous, a low-budget comedy costarring Chris Klein (American Pie). Her biggest on-screen success thus far has been a supporting role in the kiddie flick Hop, where she didn't even get to play the female lead (she played a secondary character, James Marsden's sister).
Despite the solid work on Big Bang, Cuoco's career hasn't exactly progressed at lightning speed. Her next project, The Wedding Ringer, puts her alongside Kevin Hart — never a bad thing — but it still places her squarely in a supporting role.
Cuoco comes across in interviews as funny and down-to-earth. She's not obnoxious about what she chooses to share about herself and it's hard to find anyone that begrudges her success. If putting her life (and body) front and center in the jostling for media attention leads to the actress being offered better film roles, then more power to her. Few others have paid their dues as long as she has for the opportunity.
Singer/songwriter Jesse Winchester has lost his battle with bladder cancer at the age of 69. Winchester passed away on Friday (11Apr14) in Virginia.
He was best known for his country songs Yankee Lady, Biloxi, Mississippi You're on My Mind and The Brand New Tennessee Waltz, which went on to be covered by singers including George Strait and Tim Hardin.
Winchester was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 2007.
In 2012, musicians Elvis Costello, Jimmy Buffett and Rosanne Cash collaborated on a tribute album titled Quiet About It, which featured versions of his songs.
Veteran rocker Tom Petty will receive the prestigious Founders title at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers' (ASCAP) Pop Music Awards next month (Apr14). The legendary musician will be celebrated for his outstanding career success, which has spanned 45 years.
A statement issued by Paul Williams, ASCAP president and chairman, reads: "Tom is the very definition of an American music icon. Not only is he one of the most admired and beloved songwriters of our time, his music continues to be a major influence and inspiration to new generations of songwriters today.
"He has earned music's highest honors - Grammys, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the distinction of being one of the bestselling artists of all time."
Previous honorees include Billy Joel, Sir Paul McCartney, Carly Simon, Stevie Wonder and Neil Young.
Meanwhile, pop group fun. will be presented with the ASCAP Vanguard prize at the Pop Music Awards in recognition of their impact on the American music industry.
The ceremony will be held in Los Angeles on 23 April (14).